20-0715 v3.1 Scale Jumping Beyond Site to Community due to Suitable Space Constraints

QUESTION

This dialogue is submitted as a request for exception to scale jump with the requirement for Urban agriculture beyond our community due to restrictions in scale jumping this requirement in the Oranjezicht community itself. The project seeks approval that it can extend the benefit of urban agriculture to a school in the under-resourced community of Langa in Cape Town, and to tie this in with the Equitable Investment credit by spending the required 0.005% investment on the proposed Langa community garden. The specifics of the arrangement to be developed once approval for these exceptions are obtained.
The project site itself will still have a limited scope of urban gardening for the occupants to use but will not be sufficient to address the imperative requirements. The intent of this dialogue is to set out the motivation for applying for the exception to scale-jump beyond the Oranjezicht community to the under-resourced community of Langa and link this strategy with the requirements of the Equitable Investment credit.
Urban Agriculture Scale Jump Beyond the Site and the Oranjezicht Community:
4 Rugby Road is a multi-unit residential project (two units) located in the typically ‘single-family neighborhood’ of Oranjezicht, Cape Town (South Africa).
The suburb was built on the site of the old Oranjezicht farm – it covers a land area of 1.13km2 with a population of approximately 3,580 (representing almost 1,640 households). The original farm used to stretch at least as far as the Mount Nelson Hotel and supplied the Cape Town Castle with fresh produce , and which operated as a farm from the arrival of the first owner Peter van Breda in Cape Town in the early 18th century until over 200 years later. Oranjezicht is a community where almost 70% of residents have some form of Higher Education and Training with a 3.71% unemployment rate. Income levels are high, with 18.8% earning between R25,601-R51,200; 13.7% earn between R51,201-R102,400 while 7.8% earn more than R102,400 per month.
Based on the site area (893 square meters) and the floor area ratio (380 sqm per unit) the project will be required to provide 15% of the project area for urban agriculture – which amounts to 134 sqm. Due to the configuration of the site there is insufficient, suitable space on the site to accommodate the area as required by the credit for appropriate urban agricultural activity. The site is long, narrow, and drops nearly 9 meters from the south to the north, which necessitated a stepped building approach down the slope of the site. As a result of prioritizing building views toward Table Mountain to the south and Cape Town’s CBD to the north, while at the same time limiting views between neighboring houses for privacy, much of the available area for agricultural activity will be in the shadow of the east and west sides of the site, compromising crop productivity potential even if vertical planting is utilized.
Considering scale jumping into the surrounding suburb was considered, but the note itself is fully developed and options for scale jumping within the boundaries of this community, are limited. Various sites throughout the suburb, that had any form of empty land available were considered, with the following results (also see marked-up map attached):
1. Erf 95129: De Waal Reservoir and Gardens, zoned as Open Space 2: Public Open Space but the reservoir itself is regarded as a Grade 11 Provincial Heritage Site and the remaining gardens is listed as Grade IIIA on the local heritage resources register
2. Erf 1227-RE:
a. Occupied by the utility, Moltena Reservoir (southern portion). Listed as Grade IIIA on the local heritage resources register
b. Remainder is occupied by De Waal Park which was proclaimed a National Monument on the 22nd of March 1968 to be maintained in perpetuity as public gardens and it is now listed as a Provincial Heritage Site.
3. Erven 376-RE, 423-RE, 425, 2394-RE and 2733: These sites all make up the sport fields linked to the Gardens Campus College of Cape Town (private school). Important to note is that these sites also form part of the Heritage Protection Overlay (HPO) Zones. Under the 2013 Zoning Scheme, and subsequent Development Management Scheme of the 2015 Municipal Planning By-Law, the old Urban Conservation Areas were designated as Heritage Protection Overlay zoning (HPO). 372861
4. Erven 431-RE: The African Brothers Football Academy is located on this site, and like the preceding grouping of erven, this site forms of the Heritage HPO zone.
5. Erf 2601: Area east of the Molteno Reservoir - This site is listed as a Grade IIIC on the local heritage resources register
6. Erf 3715: St Cyprians School (private school) which is also listed as a Grade IIIA on the local heritage resources register
7. Erf 861: Stepping Stone Pre-Primary School (private school) which is also listed as a Grade IIIA on the local heritage resources register, with a small portion on the western side listed as a provincial heritage site (Grade II)
8. Erf 858-RE: Oranjezicht City Farm (OZCF) was established in September 2012 as an educational non-profit project under the wing of the Oranjezicht-Higgovale Neighbourhood Watch and has reached site capacity. In August 2014 it became an independent legal entity, as the Oranjezicht City Farm NPC, a non-profit company. In December 2017, the NPC was voluntarily liquidated so that OZCF could become part of its sister organisation, the SA Urban Food & Farming Trust (Registered Trust IT20812/2014) and contribute more directly to the broader mission of the Trust. The SA Urban Food & Farming Trust works through food and farming to strengthen South Africa’s urban communities and the ecosystems that sustain them. This trust site is completely developed with no further option to expand. In 2019 the trust was working directly with the under-resourced community of Langa in Cape Town to improve their infrastructure and facilities, as well as their capacity to leverage food growing to help achieve their educational missions. It is listed as a provincial heritage site (Grade II).
9. Erf 859: “Every Nation City Bowl Church”, located to the north of the Oranjezicht Urban Farm, is listed as a Grade II provincial heritage site
10. Erf 3392-RE: Gardens Tech Rugby Club zoned as Open Space 2: Public Open Space but also listed on the local heritage resources register as “Potential Grade III: Some Significance”
11. Erf 2212: This site is zoned as Open Space 1: Environmental Conservation and forms part of a Grade II provincial heritage site.
12. Portion of Erf 2665: This site is zoned as Open Space 1: Environmental Conservation and forms part of the Table Mountain Grade II Provincial Heritage site.
13. Erf 658-RE: This is an area linked to the Table Mountain Retreat.
14. Erf 941: Site is zoned as a utility and used as a such by the relevant government department.
Due to the limitations of suitable space within the Oranjezicht community to provide the required area for urban agriculture as part of the project, we would like to apply for exception to scale jump beyond our community to extend the benefit of urban agriculture to the under-resourced community of Langa in the City of Cape Town.
There is a direct link to the community of Langa through the SAUFF Trust that have taken over the management of the site previously known as the Oranjezicht City Farm, and through the ongoing involvement of the project Architect (Anthony Svelto) in the Langa node for at least the past 18-months.
Langa is an informal settle outside the City of Cape Town – it covers a land area of 3.09km2 with a population of approximately 52,401 people (representing almost 17,400 households). Langa is a community where less than 7% of residents have some form of Higher Education and Training with 33% having Grade 12, 45.4% have some secondary schooling and the remainder have completed schooling below secondary level. There is 40.21% unemployment rate, with exceptionally low-income levels – 22.2% of people receive no income, and 65% of the residents earn less than R6,500 per month.
Researcher conducted in 2015 in the Langa community (Philander) confirms that as much as 52% of the South African population is defined as being ‘food insecure’ with at least 33% at risk of hunger (see also Oxfam, 2014). Philander further notes (2015) that urban agriculture has been advocated as a livelihood strategy to improve food security for the Langa community. The Oxfam (2014: 5) research found that less than 2% of households grow most of their own food, and most small-scale producers in rural areas are unable to feed their families. The biggest challenge for many communities includes access to land, relevant services to cultivate that land, corruption, and maladministration of productive resources.
With the intent of the Urban Agriculture Imperative being to provide a connection between humans and their nourishment, and to reconnect communities to the land, scale jumping the urban agriculture portion of our project to a community where lack of income, relatively low education levels as well as restrictive access to appropriate resources places a much higher nutritional burden on the Langa community than on that of the affluent suburb of Oranjezicht – the exponential potential positive impact is clear.
Combined Approach to link this Urban Agriculture Strategy with the Equitable Investment Requirement:
The project is currently working through the costs to determine the exact Rand-value associated with the equitable investment requirement, but we propose spending the 0.005 of the total project cost equitable investment on the proposed Langa community garden. Not only will this approach assist with providing an under-resourced community to gain access to the required resources to address severe nutritional imbalances, it would also ensure that the maximum benefit equivalent to a cash donation accrue to the community and the specific uses it was intended for.
When comparing the value of a cash donation in terms of its power to purchase food for the Langa community, with the value of providing/creating ongoing food security associated with a productive community garden, the in-kind donation value would likely far exceed the impact value of cash. Engagement with community representatives (Svelto, 2019: 2) have also highlighted the welcome indirect benefit of increased job opportunities that could result from the presence of the community garden through increased tourism-related activities.
Summary:
The nr 4 Rugby Road project is of the opinion that scale jumping the urban agriculture requirement in combination with the equitable investment requirements to an under resourced community such as Langa, would fulfil the intent of both imperatives in a more meaningfully impactful manner than restricting scale jumping only within the affluent suburb of Oranjezicht with the associated limitations of a cash donation.
Sources:
Strategic Development Information and GIS Department (SDI&GIS). City of Cape Town. 2011. Census Suburb Langa.
Strategic Development Information and GIS Department (SDI&GIS). City of Cape Town. 2011. Census Suburb Oranjezicht.
Oxfam GB for Oxfam International. 2014. Hidden Hunger in South Africa – the faces of hunger and malnutrition in a food-secure nation. ISBN 978-1-78077-677-4
Philander, F. R. 2015. An appraisal of urban agriculture as a livelihood strategy for household food security: a case study of urban food gardens in ward 51, Langa, Cape Town. Masters Thesis, University of Cape Town.
Svelto, A. 2019. Regenerative Architecture in the townships of Cape Town: The rise of living future communities within informal urbanism.
ANSWER

Because the Langa school is only a few miles away in a suburb of the city in which the project site is located, the team may via Scale Jumping, install at the school, the area of urban agriculture needed to meet requirements under I02 Urban Agriculture, even though the school is outside the project site's immediate community.

However, while the Institute applauds the idea of establishing the urban agriculture plots at the school, the cost of installation may not count towards the donation required under I17 Equitable Investment. The Living Building Challenge contemplates both the establishment of additional agricultural area and a donation to a charitable organization. The SAUFF trust would be a great designee for the Equitable Investment donation.

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